Gardner-Webb’s GOAL Program Awards Inaugural Dr. Barry Hambright Scholarship

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Sgt. Spencer Cline of Newton Police Department Named Recipient 

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – The first ever recipient of the Dr. Barry Hambright Endowed Scholarship was recently awarded to Spencer Ray Cline of Newton, N.C.  The endowed memorial scholarship honoring Hambright is awarded to a qualified student in Gardner-Webb’s GOAL (Greater Opportunities for Adult Learners) program.

Employed by the Newton Police Department, Cline serves as a sergeant in the criminal investigation division, where he supervises a unit that handles both felony and misdemeanor cases ranging from murder to missing persons.  Cline is a criminal justice major at Gardner-Webb.

The Hambright Endowed Scholarship Fund was made possible by the generosity of his wife, Mary Emma Hambright, his daughters, Christie Hambright and Emmabeth Wingate, and many of his friends.  A GOAL program committee selects each recipient of the scholarship, as criteria is based both on need and academic excellence.

“I’m so glad this scholarship is specifically for GOAL,” said Mary Emma Hambright.  “Barry would be excited about this year’s recipient, as he taught many police officers over the years.  He realized the importance of scholarships and believed more were needed.”

Hambright, a native of Shelby, N.C., and a resident of Gastonia, N.C., was a devoted member of the GWU faculty for over 41 years, where he taught political science, history, criminal justice and human services, almost up until the time of his death in November 2010.  GOAL was a passion of Hambright’s, and he taught classes from its inception in 1978 through the following 32 years.  He was also known for his unique storytelling, a love of baseball, and visiting New York City, which included trips through GWU that gave students and faculty the opportunity to tour places like Wall Street.

The GOAL Program is a degree completion program for adults—many of whom have families, full-time jobs or other factors that prevent them from pursuing a degree in a traditional university setting.  Students can continue their studies culminating in a baccalaureate degree.  Majors include accounting, business administration, business management, computer information systems, healthcare management, nursing, and religious studies.  This fall the program celebrates its 35th anniversary.  Anyone interested in contributing to the scholarship may contact the GOAL program at 866-GWU-GOAL.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).